Social media has reduced the grandeur of life into soundbites and text-bites. Authors used to write copy like the sprawling, lush imaginative landscape. Now, they write to be quotable. Public speakers used to titillate their audience by immersing all five senses into a story or incite a passionate rebuttal to injustice. Now they speak in tweetable, 140-characters-or-less, blurbs. In general, public communication is about as deep as a spring rain’s puddle.
Sometimes, such brevity can be found in Scripture too, but do not underrate the spiritual depth. In 1 Chronicles 4, you will come across an oasis in the middle of a desert of names. Because you disciplined yourself to read through the first nine chapters of Chronicles, you are rewarded with a fifty-word biographical entry.
Could you tell the story of your life in fifty words or less? Jabez was a man of success, fame, faithfulness, devotion, prayer, and righteousness. Much like another genealogy, it is safe to say Jabez walked with God. In fifty words or less, we learn Jabez prayed on prayer and God answered. His desire was to be kept from evil. Unlike Solomon’s uniquely answered prayer request, Jabez maintained his uprightness before God. He coveted God’s hand to be with him.
In your fifty word biography, would it rave about your accomplishments?
Would it record your achievements?
Would it relate your affections?
Or would it reflect your allegiance? To leave this earth with the obituary naming your accolades of business prowess or your engagement as a father or your maternal care as a world-class mother or a constant friend is too cheap and petty. The world can generate such eulogies. To covet the blessing of God and live a life counted worthy of such blessings, such a story would be the pearl upon black velvet.
May your biography tell a story of dependence upon God, devotion to God, and delight in God. All of this was wrapped in Jabez’s fifty-word biography. He prayed; God answered; end of story. Oh, the incalculable richness of such a legacy! May you be as wealthy.
Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, That delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: The generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: And his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalm 112:1-3)